Latest Movie, Development & Industry News
3 July, 2013 -- Fox Searchlight Pictures acquires 'The Way, Way Back'
The Way, Way Back hit the jackpot at this year's Sundance Film Festival when Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the comedy for $10 million, among the biggest buys in recent years.
The coming-of-age story follows miserable teenager Duncan who comes into his own while on vacation with his mom and her boyfriend, Trent, through an unlikely friendship with a local water-park employee. It features stars in the indie-movie constellation, including Toni Collette as Pam, the mom; Steve Carell as her overbearing boyfriend; Allison Janey (gloriously hammy) as a boozy neighbor; and Sam Rockwell as the charismatically oddball owner of a water park; and Liam James, last seen in 2012, as Duncan.
27 June, 2013 -- Felicity Jones To Co-Star In Universal's 'Theory Of Everything'
The cast for Stephen Hawking biopic Theory Of Everything is quickly starting to come together. A couple of weeks ago, Eddie Redmayne was circling the lead role and now he's locked it in.
And he has a co-star, with Felicity Jones signing on to play Hawking's first wife, Jane.
Man On Wire director James Marsh is calling the shots on this one, based on a script by Anthony McCarten. Theory will follow Hawking's early life, from his first studies to his marriage to Jane after meeting at Cambridge.
When his world was rocked with the first diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, they pledged to stay together, though Hawking eventually left Jane for his nurse,
Elaine Mason, whom he married in 1995. After divorcing Elaine in 2006, he became close friends with Jane once more.
20 June, 2013 -- Russell Crowe To Make Directorial Debut With 'The Water Diviner'
Russell Crowe is to make his directing debut on the post-first world war drama The Water Diviner. Crowe has picked the project, based on a screenplay by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios, from a number of Australia-themed options.
The film focuses on a father from New Zealand-born Crowe's adopted homeland who travels to Turkey in 1919. There, he hopes to discover what has happened to his two sons, both of whom have gone
missing after the battle for Gallipoli. The failed 1915-16 Allied campaign, which incorporated troops from Australia and New Zealand, aimed to knock Turkey out of the war.
13 June -- 'Family Guy' Alum Sells 'Buddymoon' Pitch To Universal
Universal has bought Family Guy writer/producer Andrew Goldberg's comedy pitch, about a guy who gets dumped before his wedding and takes his best man on the unrefundable honeymoon his ex-fiance planned. The
pitch was inspired by a true story, but the concept of a "buddymoon," in which friends pile onto what's traditionally a couple's intimate, exotic post-wedding getaway, has been Urban Dictionary fodder in
recent years and even got a New York Times profile last year.
Goldberg is scripting and also has the Black Listed romantic comedy Wedding Day cooking at CBS Films,
as well as horror-comedy My Son Is the F'ing Antichrist which is set up at Temple Hill Entertainment. Scott Stuber and Pam Abdy will produce Buddymoon for Universal-based
Bluegrass Films with Michael Clear and Universal's EP of Production Jon Mone overseeing the project. Underground Films & Management's Trevor Engelson will also produce and
Josh McGuire will executive produce. Jon Romano is set as co-producer. Goldberg is repped by WME and Underground.
7 June -- 'Long Time Dead' Scribe Daniel Bronzite To Helm Thriller 'Urge'
British screenwriter Daniel Bronzite, best known for penning Working Title's teen horror 'Long Time Dead' starring Marsha Thomason, Alec Newman and Lukas Haas, has been
attached to direct the urban psychological thriller 'Urge' from his original screenplay based on the story he developed with the film's producer Sam Alani. This will be his feature directorial debut. Alani produced indie-comedy 'Booked Out' and horror 'Young, High and Dead' due to hit theaters in July.
The story centers around a medical student who, following a death in the family, loses his mind and grip on reality. MovieScope says the project will shoot early 2014 in London.
Bronzite's teen horror 'Do or Die' is currently in development with Michael Kuhn's Qwerty Films. He is repped in the UK by Nick Marston of Curtis Brown.
28 May -- Paul Greengrass To Write & Direct MLK Biopic 'Memphis'
Forest Whitaker might land a high-profile role in Paul Greengrass' upcoming film. The Idi Amin of 2006's "The Last King of Scotland" is in negotiations to come aboard "Memphis". The 51-year-old actor is offered to take on
the role of charismatic leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The biopic centers on the final days of the notable figure as he struggles to balance his personal life and the civil rights movement while he organizes a protest march in Memphis, Tennessee, where it apparently
will be the last protest march for him as he's shot dead by James Earl Ray. The FBI then leads an intense manhunt for the assassin. Abu Dhabi-based Veritas Films and French financier Wild Bunch come aboard to finance the ambitious
project, which has been developed since 2012. Scott Rudin is secured to produce the movie. No start date has been set yet.
17 May -- WGAw Report Survival of the Hollywood Screenwriter
On July 2, 2012, the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) released a report that confirmed the angst-filled chatter among all levels of writers. The report stated that screenwriting jobs and wages in Hollywood fell for the second
straight year, putting facts and figures to what screenwriters already knew: The cost-cutting of studios, all of them making fewer movies year by year, has resulted in fewer jobs available for drafts, rewrites and polishes not to
mention less development funds for spec scripts. Over the past several years, screenwriters have faced ever-greater obstacles in trying to earn a living in this industry.
Over time, the loss in wages and drop in consumer spending by entertainment employees rippled through countless seemingly-unrelated industries like retail, dining, insurance, auto and housing. According to a May, 2008
report by The Milken Institute, "The three-month strike had a substantial impact on California's economy in general and on Los Angeles County, in particular. The work stoppage came at an unfortunate moment, coinciding
with a major downturn in the state's housing market. This lingering effect of the strike was one of several factors that tipped California into a recession in early 2008."
12 May -- Guy Ritchie Takes On 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'
The film adaptation of the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has gone through its fair share of big names. Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper and others all had their names
circling the project at certain points. Guy Ritchie was set to direct with Tom Cruise and Armie Hammer as two Cold War spies, but Cruise dropped out last week. Losing one of the biggest movie stars in the world was a significant
blow to the project. It seems Warner Bros. might have found a replacement, however, and the name is quite a surprise. The studio is in talks with the Man of Steel, Henry Cavill, to play the lead role of Napoleon Solo.
2 May -- Glen Mazzara To Write 'Shining' Prequel 'The Overlook Hotel'
The proposed prequel is called The Overlook Hotel, and Glen Mazzara, who was the showrunner on The Walking Dead for the last two years, is in talks to write it. The film will be produced by Laeta Kalogridis and Bradley
Fischer and James Vanderbilt. Hollywood Reporter tweets: "Glen Mazzara's dealmaking for the Shining prequel is in sensitive territory so there's a chance it may not make."
Mazzara has been a television writer and producer since the early 2000s, when he got his start on Nash Bridges. He has written scripts for The Shield, Hawthorne, and Crash. Tasked with taking over showrunner duties for The Walking Dead
after Frank Darabont was dismissed from the show by AMC, Mazzara managed by all accounts to correct the momentum of a flagging series. He was himself asked to leave the show after creative disputes with the network and Walking Dead
comics creator Robert Kirkman.